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Husband hiding debt?

(62 Posts)
coffeecuppa Wed 11-Jan-17 21:33:28

I don't open my husband's post, and he doesn't open mine. The past few months he has been opening his bank statements, saying something like, "I keep telling them I don't need paper statements as I get it all emailed to me," then he rips it up and chucks it in the bin (sometimes straight into the main bin outside).

It happened again today. He was in a lot of debt when we met so I am always wary of him hiding money problems from me. Anyway he's gone out to the pub so I got the statement back out of the bin - it seems he's regularly £200+ into his overdraft (never told me this), is paying £100 for a credit card and £25 a month to Lowell Portfolio (a debt recovery agency I believe?).

My question is: Is £100 a month on a CC and £25 to a debt recovery agency anything to worry about? Do I give him the benefit of the doubt that he's handling things ok, even though he's not being honest?

I have posted about him in the past - we're having problems in general, so not sure if I'm looking for problems where there are none...? Though it seems a bit ridiculous that he's off out to the pub when he has no money, and he was trying to arrange a date night for us yesterday - I told him to cancel because we're saving our money for a family event later this month. Actually, come to think of it, he asked if I had any cash on me that he could take to the pub as he got his PIN wrong today and blocked his card... hmm confused

TENSHI Wed 11-Jan-17 21:48:56

It baffles me why women hook up with men who are waving their red flag right in front of their nose!

You sound responsible with money so are you bailing him out?

It's common for debtors to hide the extent of their debts as deviousness and deceit and an unwillingness to take responsibility, along with ignoring the problem and carrying on spending regardless...all points to the same personality type.

He probably is charming and acts as if nothing is wrong and used to wasting money and spending on himself.

Personally I think it is a turn off for a partner to sponge off the other.

Good luck op, he doesn't want to confront his own weakness and won't appreciate you digging around suspiciously like this so your choice is to pretend everything is just fine or expect fireworks.

coffeecuppa Wed 11-Jan-17 22:17:29

You're right, of course. He has form for lying and being crap with money. I do wonder, though, if the debt he has at the moment is quite 'normal'? I've never been in debt personally, apart from my student loan and our mortgage, I've always budgeted and scrimped and saved. But isn't paying off a CC and being in an overdraft quite common these days? I sound clueless and not sure if I'm getting across what I mean, oh dear. blush

TENSHI Wed 11-Jan-17 22:25:24

Only common with selfish irresponsible liars like your dh.

c3pu Wed 11-Jan-17 22:25:58

Some debt can be considered normal, but as a general rule if it isn't transparent (ie he hasn't disclosed the amount, and what exactly the debt paid for) then no it is not normal.

I've had debt to pay for cars and one off expenses etc, but it's always been totally proportionate to my earnings, been clear to my other half, and paid off in a short timeframe.

Long term, badly serviced hidden debt is a massive red flag.

coffeecuppa Wed 11-Jan-17 22:30:46


He talked me into two finance deals during the summer - one for furniture and one for technology, which we're paying from the joint account (in his name though). He convinced me we'd be able to handle it, despite me being a SAHM. What a wanker I am.

Scarydinosaurs Wed 11-Jan-17 22:34:33

The deceit is worrying. That isn't a normal level of debt.

Kr1stina Wed 11-Jan-17 22:46:48

Is £100 a month on a credit card something to worry about ?

Well it depends on the amount he owes. He might be paying off the full amount each month, or it might be the minumim required and his debt is very high and mounting fast.

jo10000 Wed 11-Jan-17 22:47:04

It depends if you normally talk about all your finances. My husband and I have little idea of each others credit card and overdraft spending, though we always stay within reason ( so if we can pay it off easily from our savings if we had to). But years ago I was regularly £100 overdrawn (had a free bank facility to go overdrawn by this amount in those days) and figured so long as my next pay cheque covered the debt and if I needed to I could clear it, that was ok. But like I said, it depends if you normally talk through all your financial details. If not I wouldn't necessarily worry. Though I would be concerned about the debt recovery thing.

sobeyondthehills Wed 11-Jan-17 22:50:57

I think it very much depends whether these are recent.

When I met DP he had no debt, but I was swimming in it, I was budgeting and coping, but it meant I had little to no money left as I was trying to get rid of it as fast as possible.

We now save for things we want, rather than get finance and are trying to sort out my credit.

eatingtomuch Wed 11-Jan-17 22:55:08

I'd be concerned about the debt collecting agency. What debt have they purchased and why?

coffeecuppa Wed 11-Jan-17 23:15:35

I'm not entirely sure, eating. He was receiving letters for an amount around £300 last year, but he told me he contacted them and it was resolved and he didn't have to pay anything. Perhaps it's that one, or a new one? He had a good enough credit rating in 2015 for us to get a mortgage (at first it was declined, then I helped him pay off a debt, then it was approved once that disappeared from the credit report).

beyond, I think if he treated the debt like you did it wouldn't be so bad. But it seems like he's either in denial about it or doesn't care, since he's off down the pub and bought himself new clothes the other week. I'd be eating beans on toast and darning socks if it were me.

We don't really talk about it in detail, jo. I'm better with money so I am saving up for house repairs using my own account, and I rarely spend from there apart from direct debits for my contact lenses and our life insurance (exciting eh?). We used to file away all our bank statements but the last year or two he has stopped giving them to me to do so hmm

TENSHI Thu 12-Jan-17 05:37:08

You paid off his debts to secure a mortgage?

You are a fool.

He prioritises himself not you or your home together or god forbid any dc you might have.

New clothes for him? Off to the pub? Probably to drink with his mates to his good fortune in finding a mug of a wife who loves him so much he can get away with treating you so badly and disrespectfully.

If a normal, kind, responsible, loving and caring partner found themselves in debt their first priority would be to pay it off as soon as possible, as you well know. As you would do or I would do.

Not swanning off to the pub in his newly bought clothes!

Let me guess...he has left you to do all the housework and no money for any enjoyable things you might want to do.

He's probably bored with having to behave like a grown man with responsibilities so it's much easier to lie to you, hide his other life and carry on as if he was single.

What a catch! What are you going to do about it? He won't like being nagged by you as he is enjoying life at your expense as you know.

He doesn't need to grow up and face the music while you play the devoted little wife at home.

Anyway, don't expect the truth even if you do confront him. He has got away with being devious and manipulative so far and he won't want to change.

Your name on his debts? Clever man. Doesn't sound as if you know his other side/other life that well op.

SorrelSoup Thu 12-Jan-17 05:52:06

This would worry me as he is being deceitful. Any debt or credit should be discussed when married as it can have so much impact on the other person. Like pp say, it's not the 100 on the cc, it's not knowing the balance. Also paying to debt collectors is really serious: you don't even know what it's for and how much. He's keeping it from you.

Obviously he didn't forget his pin, so somethings up with his bank account there. Yet off to the pub and buying new clothes. Perhaps he has a store card or two at 30% APR?

I understand that you're frightened to ask him as this could be the unravelling of everything. You're being the grown up here and he's being the irresponsible child; that is not sexy or conducive to a good partnership.

I feel really worried for you. Good luck in broaching this.

AyeAmarok Thu 12-Jan-17 05:54:42

I do wonder, though, if the debt he has at the moment is quite 'normal'?

No, it's not normal to have a debt management company involved in your finances in any way. Or to lie to your wife about it.

You need to talk to him and stop burying your head in the sand. You're married, his finances (and debt) affects you.

MrsBlennerhassett Thu 12-Jan-17 06:21:09

overdrafts and credit cards are fairly normal as long as they are kept on top of i believe. Bank loans are pretty normal again as long as they are kept on top of. Its the debt collection agency that is very worrying. What is that debt did it say how large it was?
Its also worrying that he has kept this from you. Why would he do that if it was all under control?

coffeecuppa Thu 12-Jan-17 08:09:52

No it didn't say how much the debt was for, just that it was a DD of £25 to the debt agency.

He lost a whole week's pay last month as he was off sick for a week during his probation and doesn't get sick pay, and I've been saying this month is going to be even harder than normal. There are things I need to buy (I'm still wearing nursing bras and I stopped feeding DS in August!!) but I know now is not the time for non-essentials.

He knows I'm unhappy anyway so it's likely he's withholding this from me because he knows it would be the final nail in the coffin. sad

Thank you for your replies. I'm going to have to talk to him about finances and see what he says.

Shakey15000 Thu 12-Jan-17 08:20:05

The debt company sounds as if he's either defaulted on other borrowing and the debt has been sold on, or he couldn't get credit anywhere else and has a loan. The credit card at a fixed amount each month suggests a much higher amount being slowly paid off, or a lower amount and he's trying to clear it quicker.

It's either way, not a great position and I agree, I'd be eating beans on toast not heading down to the bloody pub. Especially with a family to support. That's him choosing himself over the family. Not a relationship I could stay in. Not to mention the lying sad

Trifleorbust Thu 12-Jan-17 08:21:41

It doesnt sound like a huge level of debt but any amount to a recovery agency is worrying.

coffeecuppa Thu 12-Jan-17 08:35:41

As I said up thread, he had a lot of debt when we first met and I thought I'd helped him pay it all off. But various things keep popping up over the years, I don't think any of it is new debt (apart from the CC) but the fact that these debts keep cropping up really worries me. I hate not knowing what's going to happen next - he could get a letter through the door today with another 'forgotten' debt. And judging by these events, he wouldn't even tell me about it!

It really makes me feel like a mug for being so careful with money when he's spending and lying by omission. I'm very good at budgeting and working out where we can cut/save money, so if I knew we were struggling this much I would have nailed down a plan of action, created a new spreadsheet and we'd be getting back on track.

How the heck do I even approach him about this without it being bleeding obvious that I got his ripped-up statement out of the bin!? hmm

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 12-Jan-17 08:53:50

"As I said up thread, he had a lot of debt when we first met and I thought I'd helped him pay it all off".

I have to look at you here; why did you enable him and infact have continued to do so. Doing that has not helped him or you for that matter; its just given you a false sense of control. He is still being dishonest to himself and to you about his level of debt. I am also wondering if you are also co-dependent; is your self esteem also dependent on you helping him?

I would get credit reports and find out more; I think you are going to be in for a shock.

coffeecuppa Thu 12-Jan-17 08:59:37

Hi Attila. The reason I paid off his debts is because he was receiving bailiff letters and threats to our rented flat. The thought of having the bailiffs round to take our things was terrifying. In hindsight, I should never have given him the money, but it was the only way I could see for us to be together. He was supposed to pay me back but that never happened. I can see now that it was the wrong thing for me to do. I should have ended it then sad

I'm not sure re: co-dependency. My self-esteem is pretty bad in general, and I don't think being taken for a mug in this way is helping much. It's all shit tbh.

SorrelSoup Thu 12-Jan-17 09:02:57

I think helping someone with debt as a one off is ok. A lot of people I know struggled to afford to live as single people and we're students etc. I don't think you can control this. It has to come from him and he doesn't seem bothered, perhaps cos he doesn't need to be cos you'll do it for him.

Re telling him how you know: you could say you had thrown some paperwork away in error and had to search for it. He might go mad at you for snooping anyway, to deflect it away from him.

I think you have to think about what you want now. Is it a deal breaker? Do you still respect him? Are you still in love with him? Is life fun with him? What other ways are things not good?

How old are you both? Do you have dc?

RideLikeTheWindBullseye Thu 12-Jan-17 09:05:23

You are right to be concerned and seek advice. It's clear you're the responsible one in this marriage. The problem is he knows you'll sort it, he knows you'll always bail him out and there's nothing to stop him getting worse and more secretive, that is exactly whats happening.

As a married couple you have a right to financial transparency. His debts affect you and vice versa. It always shocks me to the core when I read about women on Mumsnet who have divorced their DH and ended up with £50,000 of debt; half the marital debt, none of which the wife was responsible for. I've read on another thread where the wife had to sell the family home to pay off the marital debt ie were it not for the debt she would have had a roof over her head. I've even read where the debt is in the DH's name, he ran up the debt, the wife still ends up having to pay half. Apparently both husband and wife are responsible for half the debt within the marriage even when only person is responsible.

Protect yourself coffeecuppa; it concerns me greatly that you are a SAHM with a baby. Not disclosing his spending/debts is lying by omission, its disrespectful and has the potential to ruin you financially; ruin your credit rating for the future etc.

Also what comes across is a huge sense of entitlement and total disregard for the future of his DW and child. His priorities sound very much like its all about him. You are going without even the basics (still wearing nursing bra's); all the scrimping, saving is left to you. Fuck that for a game of soldiers. You deserve better.

RideLikeTheWindBullseye Thu 12-Jan-17 09:18:37

but it was the only way I could see for us to be together

One should never be so desperate to be in a relationship that they ignore the clear red flags that are displayed. You are setting yourself up for misery for both you and your child.

I am not in a position to berate anyone having spent my entire life blissfully unaware of such things and reaping the consequences now. If I knew then what I knew now I could have saved myself a lot of heartache. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

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